A surprising exchange yesterday on Meet the Press yesterday with guests departing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey.
Chuck Todd asked the Joint Chiefs Chairman if there were any lessons learned from the Benghazi debacle, which elicited a shocking admission:
TODD: And is there anything that could have been done better on the intelligence front, you think that could have given you more time to do something or is this something that, you know, this is– this is what happens in a place like Libya that right now is an unstable state?
GEN. DEMPSEY: Well, we– we’ve learned a lot from the Benghazi incident. And we– as the Secretary said, we work with the State Department and, you know, kind of surveying those parts of the world where– where there’s a new norm, if you will, of– of instability in terms of, you know, discussing the intelligence apparatus. It’s pretty easy to talk about the intelligence failures. We don’t talk much about them many times when we have intelligence and we’re able to stop or prevent, disrupt an attack so, of course, we should continue to learn from these events.
A “new norm of instability”? Wait, what? Why didn’t we hear about this during the presidential campaign? Whatever might have prompted this “new norm of instability”?
Fortunately, they returned to the topic a few minutes later with Chairman Dempsey and Secretary Panetta identifying exactly what the source was of this “new norm of instability” that Dempsey was referring to:
TODD: General Dempsey, is AQIM here, al Qaeda in North Africa, the number one national security threat in the United States?
GEN. DEMPSEY: No, I wouldn’t describe them as the number one national security threat, but they– they’re a threat that is localized, becoming regionalized and left unaddressed, will become a global threat. By the way, to the secretary’s point and yours about did we miss something here, let’s think about what’s changed over the last three or four years in that region. The– the regimes that used to maintain control over that space that would in fact be part of the solution of keeping al Qaeda and its affiliates at bay, are no longer there. The Arab Spring has stripped that away. And what we’ve got is a period of ungoverned space, or we have a– I mean, the period at which– at which geography is less governed than it used to be. That’s why this has become a– a near term problem.
TODD: You know, he brings up the Arab Spring, Secretary Panetta. This is the– the issue here of what is our policy, North Africa and the Middle East? Is it stability or is it democracy? We’ve been on the side of these democratic movements in Libya, in Egypt, but it’s brought instability and it’s brought more danger.
MR. PANETTA: Well, that’s what change is all about. And that’s what we’re seeing in– in that part of the world, is a tremendous amount of change. I mean, our– our hope is that– that change can move in the direction of providing greater democracy and greater stability. That’s what you hope for, for these countries. That’s what you hope for– for the people.
TODD: It’s less stable in other way.
MR. PANETTA: But well, there– there is instability associated with change, and that’s what we’re seeing in these key countries and that’s what’s creating some of the opening that General Dempsey talked about.
So the Obama administration now openly admits that the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ is the source of this “new norm of instability”.
Did I miss this two years ago when all of the administration officials were praising the ‘Arab Spring’, that it was going to lead to greater instability, which Chairman Dempsey explains is a “near-term problem” for American national security, and that our assistance in overthrowing Arab dictators was going to lift the lid on Islamic extremism? What’s that? They never mentioned it once?
But a front page article in Sunday’s Washington Post on the resurgence of Al-Qaeda indicates that this “new norm of instability” was not anticipated by the administration that was quick to declare the defeat of Al-Qaeda after the death of Osama bin Laden:
After bin Laden was killed in May 2011, senior U.S. officials including Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta described the group as being on the verge of strategic defeat. Since then, a series of unexpected developments have extended the network’s life span.
In particular, al-Qaeda franchises have gained strength in regions touched by the Arab Spring. The popular uprisings that toppled autocratic governments across the Middle East also weakened the grip of security services that had kept extremist forces in check. Civil wars in Syria and Libya provided local militants with weapons, experience and popular legitimacy.
“What we’re seeing in North Africa and Syria is an unfortunate result of Arab Spring,” said Seth Jones, a Rand Corp. analyst and former consultant to the Pentagon on counterterrorism.
Islamists in those countries are only nominally tied to al-Qaeda, and most are focused on local causes. But their resurgence threatens Western interests in the region and perhaps beyond, Jones said.
Western governments already are warning of increased threats to embassies, businesses and tourists in the region. In France, where 10 percent of the population is of North African descent, security officials are bracing for the possibility of retaliatory strikes in response to its military action in Mali against militants linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the affiliate in North Africa’s Sahara and Sahel regions.
The Arab Spring “freed up people, resources and energy,” while attracting foreign jihadists who gave local organizations a more international character, said Mike Shurken, a former CIA analyst.
“We’re seeing evidence of internationalization of these local groups, particularly AQIM,” Shurken said. “They are evolving rapidly and perhaps finally becoming the thing that people were fearing: a group with an international agenda.”
Regular PJMedia readers won’t be surprised by these developments since you’re reading Barry Rubin, Andy McCarthy, myself and others. But I ask again, why didn’t we hear ANY of this from the establishment media before November’s election? Did the fatal Benghazi debacle catch the administration off guard, or was the establishment media protecting their boyfriend Barack to get him over the November election finish line before it all started coming apart and they would be forced to cover it?
This afternoon at a White House ceremony, Obama announced that his nominee for CIA Director will be ‘Jihad’ John Brennan, his current counterterrorism adviser.
Back in June, I profiled Brennan here at PJ Media. Some of ‘Jihad’ John’s recent highlights include:
April 2008: Brennan tells the New York Times that US government official must stop “Iran-bashing”
Feb 2010: Brennan attacks critics of Obama Admin’s handling of “underwear bomber” Abdulmutallab as a criminal, not a terrorist, saying that critics are “serving the goals of Al-Qaeda”
May 2010: Brennan says he wants to build up “Hezbollah moderates”
May 2010: Brennan defends ‘Jihad’ as a ‘legitimate tenet of Islam’
June 2010: Washington Times editorial slams Brennan, saying, “President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser knows very little about terrorism, and that’s scary for America.”
Aug 2010: Brennan storms out of meeting with Washington Times editorial staff after he claims he was misquoted by newspaper and editor begins reading Brennan’s own quotes back to him out loud
Sept 2010: Known HAMAS operative given escorted tour of National Counterterrorism Center
May 2012: Brennan implicated in major White House intelligence breach involving UK/Saudi Al-Qaeda infiltrator
Aug 2012: Brennan attacks critics of politically-driven White House intelligence leaks
Sept 2012: House Intel Committee Chairman Mike Rogers says changes in CIA’s Benghazi attack talking points blaming Mohammed video happened under deputies committee chaired by Brennan
Again, these are just some of John Brennan’s highlights. We could also add his laughable claims of no collateral casualties from his drone assassination program or his defense of trying Al-Qaeda operations chief Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court or his role in the White House back-door dealing with the UK on the release of Libyan Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi or his reference to Jerusalem as “Al-Quds” in a NYU speech or his claims that the 20 percent recidivism rate for GITMO detainees (those who returned to terrorism) was “not that bad”. But that would be piling on.
What should be clear is that John Brennan’s role in Barack Obama’s disastrous first term should preclude him from any further service in the second term. let alone a promotion.
There are plenty of avenues of investigation for Senate members, who will be voting on confirmation of Obama’s nominee, if they’re willing to look.
A stunning story out of Egypt on Friday (HT: Jonathan Schanzer at FDD) after a raid in northern Sinai uncovered a cache of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles bound for Hamas-controlled Gaza. The discovery was made in Be’r al-Hefn near Arish in an area known as a transit point for materials headed for the smuggling tunnels running from Sinai into Gaza.
The most remarkable part of the story is that the missiles were American-made, arriving from Libya according to multiple reports.
Egypt Independent reported:
The North Sinai Security Director seized a shipment of advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles at dawn on Friday.
The directorate received a tip that the missiles were being secretly stored in a repository in Be’r al-Hefn — just south of Arish, the capital of North Sinai — and would be smuggled through tunnels to the Gaza Strip, said a security source.
After informing the Interior Ministry in Cairo, two assistants to the interior minster led a large formation of police in a raid on the area. Be’r al-Hefn has often been used as an illegal storage area for explosives and weapons.
“With the help of secret informants, the police found the storage site, where they found six US-made advanced missiles inside large holes in the ground [that were waiting to be] smuggled to the Gaza Strip through tunnels,” the source said.
He said the shipment likely originated in Libya, and that the range of the rockets was 2 km.
That US-made weapons are finding their way from Libya should be of grave concern for American security officials. Presumably these are weapons provided by the Obama administration to the Libyan rebels in their fight against Gaddafi in 2011.
US weapons have also made their way to Syria via Libya with active US assistance according to reports. In October, Russia accused the US of sending Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, a claim that Defense Secretary Panetta denied.
Back in August I noted here at PJ Media the New York Times caught scrubbing one of its stories of any mention of CIA funneling arms to the Syrian rebels.
This is not the first time that US missiles have been bound for Gaza and Hamas. During Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in January 2009, Hamas attempted to use American-made Stinger missiles they had acquired against Israel’s AH-64 ‘Apache’ helicopters to no effect since the weapons system identified the Israeli aircraft as friendly.
A Maan News Agency report on yesterday’s raid noted that authorities had recovered 17 French missiles several weeks ago in the same area.
Back on Sunday I broke the news here at PJ Media of the arrest of Abdullatif Aldosary in connection with the bombing of a Social Security Administration office in Casa Grande, Arizona, last Friday morning. I noted that while the bombing and Aldosary’s arrest had received local news coverage, there was a virtual blackout by the national media on the Iraqi refugee’s identity.
Yesterday I reported on details provided to the federal court on Monday during Aldosary’s initial court hearing, which included information on what was found when the FBI conducted a search of his Coolidge, Arizona, home last Friday night. Among the items recovered was a bomb-making manual that had been hidden behind a photograph on the wall. Also discovered were an AK-47 and a 9mm Ruger handgun, along with more than a thousand rounds of ammunition. Kerry Picket at the Washington Times also reported that they recovered several gallons of chemicals typically used in bomb making.
When authorities checked Aldosary’s bank statements, they found he had more than $20,000 despite the fact that he was a convicted felon, only worked as a day laborer, and had no visible means of supporting himself sufficient to warrant having that kind of balance.
But a bombshell report came out today based on information obtained by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who had received a request from Aldosary in November 2011 for assistance in obtaining a “green card.”
According to today’s news report, the Department of Homeland Security responded to Gosar’s request on behalf of Aldosary last year by saying that he was ineligible for a change in status because of “terrorism-related grounds of inadmissibility”:
Gosar said DHS responded by saying Aldosary was not eligible for a permanent change to citizenship “pursuant to the terrorism-related grounds of inadmissibility, and that “individuals who engage in terrorism-related activity … are barred from receiving various immigration benefits.”
DHS did not elaborate on what the activity was. Gosar wrote that to be barred from permanent status, under federal law the immigrant must have engaged in activity “indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily injury, a terrorist activity; to prepare or plan a terrorist activity; to gather information on potential targets for terrorist activity” or belong to “a terrorist organization” among other actions.
In light of the Casa Grande bombing, Gosar questioned why Aldosary was not detained and processed for deportation in November 2011, after it was determined he had engaged in terrorism-related activity.
The bombing happened about a block away from Gosar’s office.
“But for the grace of God, no one was injured in the bombing,” Gosar wrote.
Gosar also asked what efforts were made to track and monitor “a known terrorist.”
Gosar sent a letter to Homeland Security yesterday raising concerns about Aldosary being ruled ineligible for citizenship, but then not being detained and processed for deportation. Among the questions Gosar has asked DHS are:
1) Why wasn’t a known terrorist detained and deportation proceedings initiated once DHS concluded he was engaging in terrorism-related activity?
2) What efforts were made to track and monitor a known terrorist in Arizona?
3) Did DHS inform local law enforcement about this potential threat?
4) Was DHS aware of Mr. Aldosary’s prior criminal record?
5) What is the time frame to arrest and deport a resident alien once the DHS determines he or she has engaged in terrorism related activity?
All fair questions to ask. We’ll keep you informed about this case as developments warrant.
UPDATED: Iraqi refugee arrested for bombing Arizona Social Security office with IED, media silence ensues
Editor’s Note: Updates to this story follow the article.
The typically quiet town of Casa Grande, Arizona, was rocked by an explosion at the local Social Security Administration office early Friday morning of what appears to an improvised explosive device (IED). No one was hurt in the explosion, which occurred shortly before the office was scheduled to open. The explosion was reportedly heard and felt all over the area.
While the little town of Casa Grande and the nearby Phoenix area are talking about the incident, virtually no one else is. In fact, the only reason I was following the story is because I’m presently in the area and saw the initial reports on the explosion and continued to look into it .
Within 90 minutes of the explosion, police had a suspect in custody. But you wouldn’t know it from reading the establishment media reports this past weekend. One reason might be that the suspect is 47-year-old Abdullatif Aldosary of Coolidge, AZ, an Iraqi refugee.
On Friday, federal agents served a search warrant on his home. Aldosary has been on the radar of the Department of Homeland Security for at least the past couple of years.
Late Sunday afternoon, I confirmed with a source at the Phoenix FBI office that the case is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism. The source said that Aldosary is expected to be charged with a host of federal and state explosives and arson charges. (See update below.)
On Saturday, the Casa Grande Dispatch reported:
An explosive device was detonated Friday morning by the back door of the U.S. Social Security Administration office, shaking downtown Casa Grande, but no one was injured.
Federal agents, including those of the FBI, rushed to the scene. The FBI would not confirm whether anyone was in custody, but the Casa Grande Dispatch learned that a Coolidge resident, Abdullatif A. Aldosary, 47, was being questioned. The investigation involved agents’ going to his home at 4732 W. Lemon Ave., on the west side of Coolidge.
The device exploded at 8:24 a.m. at the federal office, 501 N. Marshall St. The back door and wall were charred and debris was thrown throughout the back parking lot, damaging a car parked nearby.
The office was not yet open but more than 10 employees were inside, police said.
A witness was able to provide police with a license plate number on a small dark-colored compact car that fled the scene. The registration showed an address in the Martin Valley subdivision of Coolidge. Coolidge Police Department officers found the vehicle at the Lemon Avenue address. The homeowner, Aldosary, was turned over to the FBI shortly before 10 a.m.
County recorder records show Aldosary bought the house on Aug. 12, 2008. According to court records, he was charged in September with assault and disorderly conduct. He also was charged in March 2008 with four counts of aggravated harassment at the request of the U.S. Homeland Security Department.
FBI, Homeland Security, Federal Protective Service and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were at the scene collecting evidence throughout the day.
Another news report states that Aldosary served eight months in prison for that earlier aggravated harassment case.
Even though Aldosary’s identity was known to news agencies on Friday after his arrest, national and international media outlets, such as CNN and Reuters which published reports late Friday night, noted his arrest but not his identity. And none but local media have reported Aldosary’s name ever since.
Now imagine if a Tea Partier — or even someone who shared the same name as a Tea Partier – had fire bombed a federal facility less than a month after Barack Obama’s reelection. Anyone think it would be getting more media coverage?
UPDATED (8:25p EDT): I just spoke again with my contact in the FBI Phoenix field office (who is not authorized to speak on behalf of the FBI office). This contact said that it is highly unlikely that Aldosary will be charged with any terrorism offense. While they are internally treating it like a domestic terrorism investigation, including looking at if he had any help constructing the explosive device, the FBI is saying very little and will prosecute this as a simple explosives and arson case because of “the political sensitivities involved.”
UPDATE #2: Please note that the Daily Kos was first out of the gate, blaming the bombing on “right-wing extremism”:
Today, At about 8:30 AM, it appears a small explosive was detonated at the rear door of a Social Security office in Casa Grande, AZ. Thankfully, nobody was injured. It is still early, and we cannot say that it is a political act, or even be sure that this is an act of domestic terrorism, but it does seem likely.
Assuming this is a bombing, and that the bombing was conducted by a right wing zealot opposed to big government (neither of which we know for sure), I think we are seeing the start of something that I have seen coming for awhile.
Daily Kos: Have narrative, will blog.
John McCain is a menace to American national security and should not be entrusted with the supervision of small animals, let alone be considered the elder GOP statesman on foreign policy.
There, I said it.
Over the past two years, McCain has taken virtually every position with respect to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and repeatedly proved to be catastrophically wrong.
Rewind to the early days of the so-called “Arab Spring”. In February 2011, as Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was telling Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood was a “largely secular organization” and Obama himself went on national TV and said that the Muslim Brotherhood didn’t have a majority support in Egypt, McCain gave an interview on the topic with the German daily, Der Speigel.
As the fires of revolution were burning in Egypt and long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak was in his last days in office, McCain rightly warned that the Muslim Brotherhood should play no role in any transitional government:
SPIEGEL: What is your assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood?
McCain: I think they are a radical group that first of all supports Sharia law; that in itself is anti-democratic — at least as far as women are concerned. They have been involved with other terrorist organizations and I believe that they should be specifically excluded from any transition government.
SPIEGEL: Are you afraid that someone like Mohamed ElBaradei is instrumentalized by the Muslim Brotherhood?
McCain: Oh yeah, I think it’s very clear that the scenario is very likely he could be their front man. He has no following nor political influence in Egypt. After all, he has lived outside of Egypt for most of his life.
SPIEGEL: A certain role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the transition process in Egypt seems acceptable to the Obama White House. Does that concern you?
McCain: It concerns me so much that I am unalterably opposed to it. I think it would be a mistake of historic proportions.
So far, so good. And yet McCain said he was “unalterably opposed” to the Muslim Brotherhood playing any transitional role in Egypt.
And yet a year later McCain and his pal Lindsey Graham were in Cairo following the arrest of more than a dozen US NGO workers, including the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, appealing for the release of the Americans.
Prior to the trip, in an interview he gave to Fox News McCain began to modify his stance and pushed back on Hannity’s criticism of the group:
In the case of Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is split. They have not obtained power yet. There are groups of them that want to have good relations with us. They may be an Islamic country, Israel is a Jewish state. So let’s wait and see.
See, the Muslim Brotherhood is just like Israel! And they’re split!
The report that McCain and Graham gave to the US media after their meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood was that the group could be dealt with, as expressed by Graham to the Wall Street Journal:
“After talking with the Muslim Brotherhood, I was struck with their commitment to change the law because they believe it’s unfair,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), who was traveling with Mr. McCain. Mr. Graham and other lawmakers praised the Brotherhood, whose Freedom and Justice Party won a plurality of nearly 50% of the seats in Parliament, as a strong potential partner for the future of U.S. relations with Egypt.
That marks a dramatic change from several months ago, when some Republican politicians reacted warily to the Brotherhood’s rising clout. In April 2011, Mr. Graham said he was suspicious of the Brotherhood’s “agenda,” and that “their motives are very much in question.”
“I was very apprehensive when I heard the election results,” Mr. Graham said on Monday. “But after visiting and talking with the Muslim Brotherhood I am hopeful that…we can have a relationship with Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood is a strong political voice.”
In a statement McCain gave during that same Cairo trip he acknowledged meeting with members of the Muslim Brotherhood and expressed the support of the US for all parties involved in the new parliament:
Instead, we traveled here to meet with newly elected members of the Parliament from across the political spectrum, with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces – and to participate in a conference with Egyptian and American businesses that seek to increase prosperity and development in both of our peoples. With all of these different groups, we have reaffirmed the support of the United States, and the Congress in particular, for the sovereignty and aspirations of the Egyptian people – and conveyed our strong desire to cooperate, as partners and friends, with the new democratic government.
But no sooner had McCain and Graham left Egypt than the Muslim Brotherhood rejected McCain’s comments that they played a “constructive role” in ending the stand-off over the NGO workers:
Senior members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood have reacted angrily to statements by US Senator John McCain in which he thanked the group for its role in lifting the travel ban on indicted foreign NGO workers…
Freedom and Justice Party (FJP)MP Farid Ismail on Friday insisted that neither the Brotherhood nor its political arm the FJP helped lift the travel ban…
McCain said, “Last week in Cairo, we had meetings with the speaker of parliament and other newly elected parliamentarians from across the political spectrum, with leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, and with Field Marshal Tantawi and other members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. These meetings reassured us that people of goodwill in both countries were working diligently to find a positive resolution to the recent crisis.
“We are encouraged by the constructive role played over the past week by the Muslim Brotherhood and its political party, the Freedom and Justice Party. Their statement of February 20 was important in helping to resolve the recent crisis.”
Two months later comments McCain made during that trip would come back to haunt him, as it was reported that McCain had approved the presidential candidacy of Muslim Brotherhood senior leader Khairat al-Shater. The Egyptian daily Shorouck reported:
Muslim Brotherhood sources told ‘Shorouck’ that deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat Al-Shater, discussed the decision of his candidacy for the presidency with U.S. Senator John McCain two months ago, and that the latter had assured him no objection of the Brotherhood becoming president. (Google translation)
What makes McCain’s approval of Shater’s candidacy is that it broke a pledge the Muslim Brotherhood made that they would not run a candidate for president. And just a few days after McCain’s endorsement of Shater was made public, so too was video of a speech Shater had given where he had promised that under a Muslim Brotherhood-led government, “every aspect of life is to be Islamicized”.
Whether knowingly or unknowingly, McCain had backed the most hardline elements of the Muslim Brotherhood.
So McCain had twice been played the fool for the Muslim Brotherhood.
But rather than take a pause and considering how he had been played, McCain waded right back into the thick of it again, lashing out at Rep. Michelle Bachmann on the floor of the Senate for daring to raise questions about the influence of Muslim Brotherhood in the Obama administration, particularly Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who Arab media sources, including Al-Jazeera, had reported several years prior the membership of several of her family members, including her brother and mother, in the Muslim Brotherhood.
In retrospect, Bachmann’s concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood seem prescient.
Then in September, McCain was again attacking fellow Republicans for introducing a resolution to end aid to Egypt and Libya after the 9/11 attack on the Cairo embassy and the terror attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, saying that “cutting aid would be foolish”.
So what’s McCain’s position today after Egyptian president (and Muslim Brotherhood leader) Mohammed Morsi’s seizure of dictator’s powers last week? McCain said on Sunday that the U.S. should consider withholding aid from Egypt — the very position he declared “foolish” and attacked fellow Republicans for just a few weeks ago.
What the most charitable reading of John McCain’s record on the Muslim Brotherhood would show is that he suffers from severe senility marked by rare occasions of lucidity. In the US Senate, that’s certainly nothing new. But why should anyone in the Republican Party or the American public put any trust in what John McCain has to say about anything?
With John McCain showing at least three different faces on the Muslim Brotherhood, who only knows which face we will see next. Regardless, we can fairly expect he’ll be wrong.
One of the bigger political stories of the past few days has been the backlash by some members of the GOP to the manner in which Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform wields some legislators’ tax pledges as a bludgeon to Grover’s own agenda.
Some of the criticism of these lawmakers is on target as they lose their nerve following Obama’s reelection and are contemplating various “revenue enhancements” or “tax reform” schemes as mechanisms to raise taxes on American citizens. Fair enough.
But that in no way makes Grover Norquist the guy in the white hat as a review of his record shows. Not only did Norquist endorse increases in government spending (which we now have to pay for), but his record shows that Grover Norquist’s primary interest in DC is not the taxpayers but no one other than Grover Norquist and whomever is paying for his time (and it sure ain’t the taxpayers).
Let’s review some data points:
In Sept 2003, Norquist was the main cheerleader and defender of the increases in government spending under President Bush and the GOP-controlled US House and Senate, claiming that these spending increases were to “make government more effective“:
Some other conservatives see it differently. Grover Norquist, founder of the Americans for Tax Reform, says much of the growth is short-term and aimed at programs to make government more effective, helping conservatives to meet long-term goals of shrinking government. He cited Mr. Bush’s education initiative requiring more student testing as an example that could eventually bring school costs down. “We are going to find that there are failures in the public-school system. Are we building the case for school choice, for defeating teacher’s unions? I think you can argue that we are, that we are investing in order to reform.”
Clearly, those spending increases haven’t made government more effective or lowered spending in the long-term as Grover promised.
In June 2011, Norquist was battling with Sen. Tom Coburn, who wanted to end ethanol subsidies. But Norquist said he considered ending billions in government handouts without cutting the same amount as a violation of the ATR tax pledge. Again, fair enough, but just a few weeks later Norquist was telling the Washington Post editorial board that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire would not be considered a tax increase:
WITH A HANDFUL of exceptions, every Republican member of Congress has signed a pledge against increasing taxes. Would allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire as scheduled in 2012 violate this vow? We posed this question to Grover Norquist, its author and enforcer,and his answer was both surprising and encouraging: No.
In other words, according to Mr. Norquist’s interpretation of the Americans for Tax Reform pledge, lawmakers have the technical leeway to bring in as much as $4 trillion in new tax revenue — the cost of extending President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for another decade — without being accused of breaking their promise. “Not continuing a tax cut is not technically a tax increase,” Mr. Norquist told us. So it doesn’t violate the pledge? “We wouldn’t hold it that way,” he said.
It does seem at times that Norquist’s interpretation of the ATR pledge has frequently coincided with whomever his lobbying clients are at the time.
His record also shows that he has no real regard for the conservative movement he tries to wrap himself up in, as demonstrated following the investigation, arrest and conviction of his pal Jack Abramoff, where the investigation showed that Norquist whored out the conservative movement to a wide variety of interests, including Indian casinos, Marianas Island sweat shops and nefarious foreign governments.
Let’s also not forget Norquist’s lobbying on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to continue the homeownership tax credit, which as Erick Erickson noted directly contributed to the housing bubble and collapse at the expense of billions to the American taxpayers.
But in October 2010, Norquist was on CNN blaming the collapse on Freddie and Fannie:
NORQUIST: You may have missed this, but Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac brought us this collapse. Those were the two things the Democrats refused to fix.
SPITZER: No, no, I agree with you that they were…
NORQUIST: This was criminal negligence on the part of Barney Frank and Dodd.
SPITZER: They were huge participants, but there were multiple parties involved. I think everybody was…
NORQUIST: No Fannie Mae, no Freddie Mac, we wouldn’t have the collapse.
SPITZER: No, that’s not quite the case. Fannie and Freddie contributed in a very significant way as did…
NORQUIST: With trillions. You keep — I give you trillions and you tell me that’s not a big enough number.
SPITZER: This was multiple links in the chain. And that’s why if you want to say just Fannie and Freddie, you’re wrong. If you want to say they’re part of it along with the mortgage banks and the brokers and the people who actually were taking out mortgages improperly, then you have the full picture.
NORQUIST: And Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton’s laws which forced your bank to lend to people who can’t afford to, so that everybody got screwed by the misdirection of capital.
Hypocrisy, thy name is Norquist.
Speaking of hypocrisy, in the late 1990s, Norquist teamed with Christian Coalition executive director Randy Tate to help sell social conservatives on the Defense of Marriage Act. In fact, I was in some of those meetings, including one where Norquist and Tate publicly browbeat a female intern for the Eagle Forum for raising the objections of her organization to using the Commerce Clause as the basis for the legislation and how that might undermine federalism and states rights. Yet now Norquist sits on the advisory board of GOProud, which is working to overturn the same act claiming it should be a states rights issue.
Norquist’s record gets worse.
Not only has he sold his influence to the highest bidder, some of those that Norquist gave entry to the GOP corridors of power were downright dangerous.
Take for instance Norquist escorting Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror leader Sami al-Arian into the White House for a meeting with Karl Rove. During Al-Arian’s terror support trial, his attorney specifically cited the top Republican government officials that Al-Arian had met with courtesy of Norquist’s introductions as a defense that his client couldn’t possibly be a terrorist leader. When Al-Arian plead guilty to terror support, the federal judge noted that Al-Arian had been “an active leader” in the terror group.
Where were the apologies by Norquist for exposing Republicans to such a dangerous individual? In fact there were none. Rather, he attacked as racists, bigots and Islamophobes anyone who dared raise issue for his new-found terrorist friends.
Nor were there any apologies, but rather a cover-up, when one of his lobbying firm’s clients, Abdurahman Alamoudi, came under fire for his terrorist associations. In response to those news reports, Norquist’s firm altered their lobbying disclosure forms naming Alamoudi as their client to try to conceal the relationship:
Lobby disclosure forms originally filed by [David] Safavian’s firm [co-founded with Norquist], Janus-Merritt Strategies, show that it represented Alamoudi, a prominent Muslim activist, until 2001. Alamoudi has since been convicted and imprisoned for accepting money from the Libyan government as part of an alleged plot to assassinate the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
Janus-Merritt Strategies changed its lobby disclosure forms in 2001 to indicate that its client was not Alamoudi but Jamal Barzinji. In March 2002, Barzinji was named in a search warrant affidavit filed by a Customs Service official as “the officer or director” of a group of entities in Northern Virginia “controlled by individuals who have shown support for terrorists or terrorist fronts.” No charges have been filed against Barzinji, and he has denied any wrongdoing.
The Treasury Department later identified Alamoudi as one of Al-Qaeda’s top North American fundraisers.
Alamoudi even spoke at an anti-Israel hatefest in October 2000 co-sponsored and promoted by Norquist’s Islamic Institute, where Alamoudi led the crowd gathered in Lafayette Park across from the White House making his support for terrorists crystal clear, saying:
“I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas,” Alamoudi told a crowd of about 3,000 people in Washington’s Lafayette Park on Saturday who were protesting U.S. Mideast policies. “Anybody support Hamas here?” Alamoudi asked three times, as the crowd roared its approval.
“Hear that, Bill Clinton?” he continued. “We are all supporters of Hamas. I wish they added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah. . . . Does anybody support Hezbollah here?”
The crowd again roared its approval as Alamoudi repeated the question.
“I want you to send a message,” he told his audience. “It’s an occupation, stupid. . . . Hamas is fighting an occupation. It’s a legal fight.”
And yet Norquist continued to push Alamoudi, even arranging for the Al-Qaeda financier (who was funneling money for Osama bin Laden since as early as 1993) to appear with President Bush just days after the 9/11 attacks.
And when other Norquist lobbying clients (and donors to Norquist’s organizations) were raided by the US Customs Service in the Operation Greenquest terror finance investigation, Norquist immediately sprung into action, arranging a meeting for his clients with then-Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. With considerable money being directed to a number of GOP candidates, the investigation was quietly shut down by the Bush administration over the strong objections of the federal investigators on the case.
So in conclusion, while those cowardly GOP souls who seem eager to collapse to Obama’s demands for higher taxes are clearly in the wrong, the evidence shows clearly that Grover Norquist is not the anti-tax, limited government advocate he would have you believe.
Norquist’s record is that he will cheer unfunded government spending increases when it suits his own interests, and will shift his interpretation of the ATR no-tax pledge depending on who is lobbying clients are or what special interests he is protecting. As seen with the Defense of Marriage Act and his lobbying for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, he will take both sides of the issue given enough time. The Abramoff scandal showed that he willingly whored out the conservative movement to the highest bidder. And his promoting terror leaders, such as Sami al-Arian and Abdurahman Alamoudi, along with his attempts to scuttle the Operation Greenquest terror finance investigation targeting his lobbying clients and friends, shows he has no reservations putting his own financial interests ahead of those of the country.
Make no mistake: Grover Norquist is the problem with Washington DC, not the solution.
A possible stunning development may be occurring in Egypt. With President Mohamed Morsi, former spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, in office just over 100 days, the official website of the Muslim Brotherhood reported on Monday that Morsi is considering replacing current Prime Minister Hisham Kandil with Brotherhood hardliner and former presidential candidate Khairat al-Shater according to Middle East media reports.
The report on the Muslim Brotherhood’s Ikhwanweb website was later removed.
Kandil, who just visited Gaza over the weekend and met with top Hamas leaders, is under fire, along with Morsi, for an accident last week in Assuit where a train crashed into a school bus killing 51 students aged 4-8 years old.
The possible removal of Kandil comes amid reports last week that Morsi was also planning to replace all of his economic cabinet ministers, along with those from the ministries of antiquities, health and transport, with Brotherhood leaders following a meeting of the Brotherhood’s Executive Office of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).
Shater, identified by the Muslim Brotherhood’s website as Kandil’s possible replacement, was the FJP’s presidential candidate until the electoral commission ruled him ineligible to run. Morsi then replaced him as the FJP’s candidate.
That announcement came just a few days after reports appeared of a video of a speech revealing al-Shater calling for “every aspect of life to be Islamicized“:
Everywhere, the Brothers are working to restore Islam in its all-encompassing conception to the lives of people. Thus the mission is clear: restoring Islam in its all-encompassing conception, subjugating people to God, instituting the religion of God, the Islamicization of life, empowering of God’s religion, establishing the renaissance of the ummah [worldwide Muslim nation] on the basis of Islam… Every aspect of life is to be Islamicized.
We call upon God Almighty to make this transformation the beginning of a new renaissance for the ummah and the shaking off of the state of backwardness from which it has suffered for decades. As Muslim Brothers, it is imperative that we, as well as the entirety of the ummah, God willing, take advantage of this revolution which took place in Egypt and continues in the countries surrounding us.
So while the world watches what happens between Israel and the Brotherhood’s Hamas affiliate in Gaza, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood seek to extend the Muslim Brotherhood’s control over the Egyptian government by bringing in hardliners like al-Shater.
If these changes occur, I wonder if Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will still consider Morsi “his own man”?
The complaint filed by federal prosecutors yesterday against four California men who were actively planning on joining the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers and attack U.S. bases there was led by Soheil Omar Kabir, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan. Kabir converted two of the other cell members, eventually radicalizing and recruiting all three other men. He was arrested in Afghanistan.
One curious element noted in the complaint is that Kabir also served in the U.S. Air Force prior to the 9/11 attacks. So the leader of a homegrown terrorist cell led by a U.S. Air Force veteran had recruited others to kill U.S. soldiers in the field.
This is the kind of insider threat that two of my colleagues and myself warned the U.S. Army about 18 months prior to the Fort Hood attacks by Major Nidal Hasan (and were ignored). After those attacks I reported here at PJ Media that little has been done by the U.S. military to define and address the threat. Back in June, NPR reported that the Defense Department was investigating more than 100 extremists in the U.S. military, with at least a dozen of those cases considered serious.
State Dept. Official to Attend OIC Meeting Today on Banning ‘Defamation of Islam’ UPDATE: OIC Scrubs Website, Screenshot Added, Cover-Up Begins
UPDATE: Well, that didn’t last long. Earlier this morning before I posted this item the OIC press release noted that U.S. Consul General in Jeddah Anne Casper would be attending the OIC’s meeting:
The Session will be attended by Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC Secretary General. It will be chaired by Ambassador Ahmad Taib , Director General of the Branch of the Saudi Foreign Ministry, Makkah Al-Mukarrammah region. It will also be attended by Sergey Kuznetsov, Consul General of the Russian Federation and Anne Casper, US Consul General in Jeddah.
But within the past few hours that mention has been scrubbed. The press release I linked to earlier now reads:
The Session will be attended by Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC Secretary General and members of the Jeddah diplomatic community and other invited guests.
No more mention of Anne Casper attending today’s OIC session on banning “defamation of Islam.” Let the cover-up begin!
Here’s a screenshot of the earlier version noting Casper’s attendance at today’s meeting (click to enlarge):
ORIGINAL POST: After the disaster of trying to blame an obscure YouTube video for the attack on the CIA operation in Benghazi and Obama’s prophecy at the UN that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” Hillary Clinton’s State Department appears to be taking another run at the First Amendment free speech rights of American citizens.
A notice was posted yesterday on the website of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) about a symposium to be held today at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on “Defamation Acts Against Islam.” And one top U.S. State Department official will be in attendance:
The headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will host a symposium on “Defamation Acts against Islam: conflict dimensions and perspectives of co-existence between Islam and the West” on Monday 19/11/2012.
The Session will be attended by Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC Secretary General. It will be chaired by Ambassador Ahmad Taib , Director General of the Branch of the Saudi Foreign Ministry, Makkah Al-Mukarrammah region. It will also be attended by Sergey Kuznetsov, Consul General of the Russian Federation and Anne Casper, US Consul General in Jeddah.
The OIC has made no secret of its intentions to use the UN and international law to criminalize what they consider to be “defamation of Islam.” For example, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu gave a speech last Friday on “An OIC Approach for Combating Discrimination and Intolerance against Muslims,” in which he gave a road map of how they plan to do it:
OIC’s position has all along been entrenched in international legal instruments and we need to build on this tradition. We must emphasize that there is no hierarchy of human rights whereby a single right can trump others. Freedom of opinion and expression is among the fundamental rights.It does not include a licence to hate mongering. Freedom of expression does not mean the right to vilify. Our position must also be rooted in history and culture. Having indicated our seriousness at building consensus, we must seek to be reciprocated in the same spirit. We need to seek multi-stakeholder support for an international discourse seeking an intercultural solution – A solution that acknowledges that denigration of symbols and personalities sacred in Islam must be viewed as a matter of identity. It inflicts the psyche of Muslim all over the world. It is in that context that we seek an end to the systematic pattern and increasing frequency of events that contribute towards stereotyping, stigmatization and alienation of Muslims. Such events constitute an affront to human dignity violating the whole range of human rights of victims.
Coinciding with that “brainstorming” session during the OIC’s annual meeting of foreign ministers, the OIC released its Fifth Annual Report on Islamophobia, which is primarily directed at acts of free speech committed in the United States.
Hillary Clinton’s complicity with the OIC towards these ends is no surprise either, since she met twice with the OIC last year as part of the “Istanbul Process,” including her vow to use “old fashioned techniques of peer-pressure and shaming” to target “Islamophobia.”
No word on when Hillary Clinton intends to press the OIC about the pandemic racism and “kafirphobia” of the Muslim world.
One lost detail following the arrest on Friday of Kassim Alhimidi in San Diego, charged with bludgeoning his wife to death with a tire iron last March, was that Alhimidi was reportedly a former Islamic cultural affairs officer for the U.S. Army (HT: Daniel Greenfield).
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported:
Alzaidy said her father and Alawadi’s husband had previously worked together in San Diego as private contractors for the U.S. Army, serving as cultural advisers to train soldiers who were going to be deployed to the Middle East.
A remaining question in this case is whether the media, including the New York Times, the Daily Beast/Newsweek and the Huffington Post, which used the murder of Shaima Alwadi to falsely grind the ‘widespread Islamophobia’ narrative and compared it to the case of Trayvon Martin to fan the flames of racial hatred will revisit their misleading coverage and apologize to their readers for their own bigotry and bias. Not holding my breath on that one.
In years past I have conducted an annual review of ongoing catastrophic failure that is Barack Hussein Obama in all things related to terrorism and national security (see my previous year-end reviews for 2011, 2010 and 2009). But with America just hours away from deciding its next president for the next four years, I thought it timely for a pre-election review of Obama’s national security ‘Not Top 10’ for 2012.
These are listed in chronological order, not order of importance.
1) Dept. of Homeland Security Lexicon Brands Libertarians and Conservatives as ‘Militia Extremists’ in violation of its own policies (Feb. 2012)
Straight out of the gate in 2012, the Obama administration continued its branding of conservative ideas as extreme and threats to the nation. In February I reported on a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lexicon that linked ‘militia extremists’ with “the belief that the government is deliberately stripping Americans of their freedom” and opposing “many federal and state authorities’ laws and regulations (particularly those related to firearms ownership)”. Added to that, Homeland Security observed that such extremists “often belong to armed paramilitary groups”, meaning that you don’t even have to belong to a militia to be a ‘militia extremist’. One wonders if they have the NRA in mind when mentioning “armed paramilitary groups”?
Two days after my report appeared the U.K. based Reuters rolled out an article that breathlessly reported, “Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned”, basically reinforcing the narrative expounded in the DHS lexicon.
Curiously, the words “Islamic”, “Muslim” and “jihad” were all missing from the DHS lexicon. Not only that, but branding those with mainstream political ideas as ‘extremists’ ran afoul of rules promulgated by DHS in October 2011 that warned, “Training should be sensitive to constitutional values” and “Don’t use training that equates religious expression, protests, or other constitutionally protected activity with criminal activity.”
Then in June I reported that another DHS-funded study produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland was caught editing out well-documented acts of Islamic terrorism inside the U.S., such as the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, from its terrorism database.
The codebook underlying the START study, also funded by DHS, branded popular “tea party” views as ‘right-wing extremism”, claiming that such ‘extremism’ “may also be fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.”
As I noted at the time, START was basically saying that if you’re fiercely nationalistic (pro-American), anti-global (anti-UN), suspicious of centralized federal authority (like the Framers), reverent of individual liberty (like Patrick Henry), and believe in “conspiracy” theories (like the federal government allowing the sale of assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels to justify limiting American’s rights under the Second Amendment, a la Fast and Furious), then you too are on the “extreme right-wing.” All on the taxpayer dime.
2) FBI Directive OKs U.S. Government Outreach to Members of Terrorist Groups, Supporters (March 2012)
As part of a widespread Obama administration ‘Islamophobia’ witch hunt in U.S. government agencies, Matt Vadum at Breitbart News reported that the FBI had produced a document it called “Guiding Principles: Touchstone Document on Training” to justify an ongoing purge of its trainers and training material. Among the provisions of this “Touchstone Document” is the statement that “mere association with organizations that demonstrate both legitimate (advocacy) and illicit (violent extremism) objectives should not automatically result in a determination that the associated individual is acting in furtherance of the organization’s illicit objective(s).”
The net effect of this new FBI policy is that membership in a terrorist organization, or support for “legitimate” goals of terrorist organizations, does not hinder your relationship with the FBI for ‘outreach’ purposes nor make you a suspect for any investigation.
The motive for this new policy was the problematic issue that virtually all of the U.S. government’s Muslim outreach partners have been identified by the FBI and/or the Department of Justice (DOJ) in federal court as fronts for terrorist organizations or have directly supported terrorist organizations. The problem is that the U.S. Supreme Court found otherwise in Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder (2010), where the court upheld provisions of the PATRIOT Act that makes even support for “legitimate” objectives of a terrorist organization a violation of federal law.
The FBI’s “Touchstone” policy of ignoring support for terrorist organizations in its ‘outreach’ to the Muslim community is part of a larger trend during the Obama administration of rolling out the red carpet for Islamic extremists. At the same time that the FBI was announcing its new policy, as Michelle Malkin recently reported, Hisham al-Talib, who has been identified by the U.S. government as being a senior U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader involved in organizations supporting terrorism, being invited to the White House in March to help assist the administration in its reception of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders several weeks later. A more recent report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism found a whole string of Islamic extremists regularly visiting and consulting with the White House.
This explains the admission of a senior White House outreach official back in June to Neil Munro of the Daily Caller that the Obama administration has conducted “hundreds” of meetings with terrorist front group CAIR in violation of a longstanding ban by the FBI with the group for its terror support (a ban that would run afoul of the FBI’s new ‘Touchstone’ policy). And as reported on Friday, it also explains the DCCC fundraiser featuring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in Washington D.C. attended by many U.S. Muslim Brotherhood figures, including CAIR co-founder Nihad Awad.
One corrosive effect of this outreach was noted by Kerry Picket at the Washington Times, who reported that these same organizations now deemed ‘moderate’ by the Obama administration has helped shape our national security policy. That might explain the complete meltdown in our Middle East foreign policy.
An article Wednesday in the Beirut-based Al-Akhbar discusses internal divides and fighting between Syrian jihadist groups seeking to topple the Assad regime, including the recent assassination of a warlord by another rival group. (HT: Andrew Bostom)
Buried in the story, however, is this curious contributing factor for the split in jihadist forces:
According to reports coming from Idlib and Aleppo obtained by sources in the Syrian opposition, clashes between Islamist militant groups have become more frequent as they compete for power and influence, each one asserting that their religious interpretation is the only true path.
There also appears to be a cultural clash between non-Arab Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Balkans and Chechnya on the one hand, and Arabs from Syria, Libya, Tunisia and Jordan on the other, over the exploitation of sex slaves.
Some Islamists consider these women to be spoils of war, especially the wives and daughters of regime supporters, but local fighters are more apprehensive about the issue. Dozens of women have reportedly been sexually assaulted.
Others within the movement have firmly stood up to these groups and rejected such practices. For one thing, they believe that this will turn sympathetic Syrians against them.
The practice of taking sex slaves is permitted in Islamic law based on Koran 4:24, 23:5-6 and 33:50.
Lest anyone think this is a practice only justified in the ancient periods of Islamic history:
Just a tip that Andrew McCarthy and myself will be featured in the 2-part documentary “The Project” airing tonight and tomorrow on The Blaze TV.
Here’s a short description and a trailer:
In 2001, an inconspicuous manifesto now known as “The Project” was recovered during a raid in Switzerland: A manifesto that turned out to be a Muslim roadmap for infiltrating and defeating the West. Today, files containing evidence from the largest terror financing trial in U.S. history, which include details about “The Project”, are being withheld by the Department of Justice.
In an explosive two-part mini-series, TheBlaze documentary unit investigates how the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the American government and exposes how our nation’s safety is in jeopardy as a result of this dangerous government cover up.
Part I will premiere tonight, Wednesday, September 26th at 8pm ET, followed by Part II tomorrow evening, Thursday, September 27th at 8pm ET.
It airs on TheBlaze TV, which is available on Dish Network channel 212 or online at TheBlaze.com/TV, on devices like Roku, iPhone, iPod and iPad. If you’re not an online subscriber already, you can sign up for a free 14-day trial at http://www.theblaze.com/tv/.
There is more information about The Project available at http://www.theblaze.com/theproject/.
Today’s quote of the day comes from this article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Here’s the set-up:
With a week to go before his trial, Somali terror suspect Mahamud Said Omar asked Monday to be transferred from jail to a relative’s house for as much as 90 days so a Somali healer and Muslim imam can dispel his visions of ghosts and stop the pain that induces seizures.
Omar made the personal plea to Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis in Minneapolis, saying Anoka County Sheriff’s deputies have placed his life in jeopardy by telling other inmates that he’s suspected of supplying material support to Al-Shabab, a U.S.-designated terrorism organization active in Somalia.
And the response from Judge Davis gives us the quote of the day:
“I’ve been aware of your history of seeing ghosts and spirits and it has been difficult for you to sleep at night because of that. … The court is aware that you have had other seizures while you were in custody, and you are now taking your medicine.
“As to your request to have your cultural spiritual men assist you to help you get rid of the devil, the court is going to deny that,” Davis said.
Certainly better than Obama’s, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
Bill: We can’t live in shame-based world; Hillary: We must use peer pressure and shaming of Islamophobes
Bill and Hillary Clinton are apparently working from different scripts.
As Bridget Johnson just reported, earlier today Bill said in taped interview with CBS News in response to the Muslim world’s response to the 14 minute movie trailer that has them in a rage that “you cannot live in a shame-based world. You won’t make it in the 21st century.”
Except, of course, when shaming suits your agenda.
In July 2011, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was meeting with the leaders of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istabul, she promised to put the full resources of the U.S. government to work against “Islamophobia” as part of the joint Obama administration/OIC “Istanbul Process” to criminalize defamation of religion.
In her speech, Hillary cited the use of “old fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming” to combat Islamophobia:
The Human Rights Council has given us a comprehensive framework for addressing this issue on the international level. But at the same time, we each have to work to do more to promote respect for religious differences in our own countries. In the United States, I will admit, there are people who still feel vulnerable or marginalized as a result of their religious beliefs. And we have seen how the incendiary actions of just a very few people, a handful in a country of nearly 300 million, can create wide ripples of intolerance. We also understand that, for 235 years, freedom of expression has been a universal right at the core of our democracy. So we are focused on promoting interfaith education and collaboration, enforcing antidiscrimination laws, protecting the rights of all people to worship as they choose, and to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.
Hypocrisy, thy name is Clinton.
In an excellent article yesterday by Kerry Picket of the Washington Times on the influence of Muslim groups on changing the language used in national security documents and protocol (the whole article is worth the read), Picket reports that last October several dozen top US Muslim groups sent a letter to White House “Assassination Czar” John Brennan demanding that the Obama administration establish a task force with these same organizations to “purge” (their word) US government counter-terrorism training of views them deem offensive.
By 2011, Obama’s Counterterrorism and Deputy national security advisor John Brennan was urged by Muslim, Arab, and South Asian organizations to begin an “independent, effective investigation into the federal government’s training of its agents and other law enforcement” and institute a “purge” of any material that the undersigned organizations deemed unacceptable.
In an October 19, 2011 letter to Mr. Brennan, the groups criticize for anti- Muslim bias the FBI’s 2011 training manual, the books at the FBI library in FBI training academy in Quantico, Virginia, specific FBI trainers and analysts, and a report made by Army Command and General Staff at the Fort Leavenworth School of Advanced Military Studies.
The letter makes references to a September 2011 Wired Magazine piece by Spencer Ackerman. The letter was also sent to Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano, Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta, FBI Director Robert Mueller, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, and Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough.
The letter is still posted on the website of Muslim Advocates.
The same day that letter was sent to the White House, a meeting was held at George Washington University between these same groups and top DOJ officials, including DOJ Civil Rights Division head Tom Perez.
According to a report on the meeting by Neil Munro of the Daily Caller, several Muslim group leaders called for creating criminal and civil penalties for anyone advocating positions they deem offensive:
The department’s “civil rights lawyers are top of the line — I say this with utter honesty — I know they can come up with a way” to redefine criticism as discrimination, said Sahar Aziz, a female, Egyptian-American lawyer.
“I’d be willing to give a shot at it,” said Aziz, who is a fellow at the Michigan-based Muslim advocacy group, the Institute for Social Policy & Understanding. [...]
Aziz, however, used her invitation to argue that Americans’ fear of Islamists’ bombs has evolved into racism towards dark-skinned men.
The word “Muslim,” she said, “has become racialized. … I don’t accept this formalistic cop-out that this is all about religion.”
Aziz did not offer any evidence for her claim, which she said justifies the use of Title VI anti-discrimination laws against institutions and individuals who argue that Islamic texts spur Islamic violence.
This legal redefinition, she said, would also “take [federal] money away from local police departments and fusion centers who are spying on all of us.” [...]
Aziz’s advocacy was supported by a second Islamist advocate, Islamic Society of North America president Mohamed Magid. He argued that “teaching people that all Muslims are a threat to the country… is against the law and the Constitution.”
Magid asked Perez to change the federal government’s rules governing terror investigations, for more private meetings with top justice department officials, for the reeducation of FBI agents, and for more people to oppose criticism of Islam, which he labelled “religious bigotry and hate.”
Back in July I reported here at PJ Media that Tom Perez refused to promise that DOJ would never advance an anti-blasphemy law when asked about this meeting during a House Judiciary Constitution subcommittee hearing:
So what exactly did the Muslim groups demand in their letter to the White House?
The leadership of the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City have launched an online petition campaign for President Obama to back a bill to limit the free speech of American citizens they deem offensive.
The petition states:
The undersigned Board Of Directors and members of the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City (ISGKC) urges you to sponsor a bill that outlaws any action that may insult one’s religion. We utterly disagree with the violence that has taken place and the death of United States Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and other members of the United States embassy staff in Libya. We support the apprehension and conviction of those responsible for such acts.
We understand the First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights and, as such, prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, etc., but when the allowance of “free” speech incites violence it should be banned.
The film behind the violence that is occurring in part of the Muslim world, “The Innocence of Muslims”, although it may be amateurish, its contents are very disturbing and insulting to the religion and has ignited an already volatile part of the world. The film is repulsive to the sensibilities of Muslims and offends the religion of Islam in multiple ways; by denigrating the seriousness of Islam, our Prophet and the Muslims in general. We believe that it would be in everyone’s interest to ban such actions from reoccurring.
Actions as such should not be tolerated as they are very offensive. The violence that has taken place as a result of this film is very alarming. As Muslims, violence of any sort is prohibited in our religion. Those people who are carrying out these acts cannot possibly call themselves devout Muslims as they are acting out of pure rage and not out of religious duties. We condemn the violence and feel that, in spite of the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, action may be necessary to pass such a bill or, at least, censure such actions in order to calm the current situation as well as prevent future re-occurrences.
American Muslims are hard-working, law abiding, and tax paying citizens. Everyone respects freedom of speech and the First Amendment in general, however, when freedom of speech results in defaming and insulting others and provokes the killing of innocent people, it should be outlawed. In light of the recent situation, the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City hopes you may take up this cause and urge other representatives to do the same. We appreciate your time and efforts.
ISGKC Board of Directors:
- Board Member: Abdul Gafoor Akram
- Board Member: Raqibul Huq
- Board Member: Rushdy El-Ghussein
- Board Member: Dr. Mohammed Kohia
- Board Member: Russel Mohammad
- Board Member: Ibrahim Morad
Lest anyone think that the ISGKC board has gone rogue, a link to the petition is featured prominently on the group’s website, stating:
ISGKC is sponsoring an online petition to establish a law against insulting one’s religion. Please click the link below and sign the petition. Thanks for your support.
The position of ISGKC is particularly curious, and outright hypocritical, since they have hosted internationally renowned hate sheikh Khalid Yasin. When Yasin started his 2010 Kansas City tour, he began at ISGKC:
Sh Khalid Yasin started the tour with a Khutbah at the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City (ISGKC) Masjid on Friday followed by a lecture, “The Challenges facing the Muslim family and community in America” after Maghrib prayer at the Masjid. The attendance exceeded all expectations with about 350 people for the lecture. The Sheikh stressed on the importance of the Muslim community in the west and how to safeguard themselves against the social evils that the western world offers to Muslims especially our youth.
Among Yasin’s positions:
- Yasin says that the US government was behind the 9/11 attacks. (“Khalid Yasin: The New Voice of Islam?” Sunday, October 9, 2005)
- Yasin claims that AIDS was invented at a US government lab and spread by Western governments through UN agencies and Christian missionaries. (“Khalid Yasin: The New Voice of Islam?” Sunday, October 9, 2005)
- Yasin advocates for the death penalty for homosexuality. (“Home Grown”, Sixty Minutes, Channel Nine, July 24, 2005)
- Yasin justified the terrorist bombings in Bali because of years of alleged Western oppression. (“Khalid Yasin: The New Voice of Islam?” Sunday, October 9, 2005)
- Yasin says that the Quran permits wife-beating and that equal rights for women is a “delusion” and “foolishness”. (cited in “Undercover Mosque”, Channel 4 [UK], January 15, 2007)
- Yasin calls the beliefs of Christians and Jews “filth”. (cited in “Undercover Mosque”, Channel 4 [UK], January 15, 2007)
- Yasin says that Muslims cannot have non-Muslim friends. (“Home Grown”, Sixty Minutes, Channel 9 [Australia], July 24, 2005)
- Yasin rejects any separation between Islam and the state and openly advocates for the reestablishment of the caliphate. (Sunday Nights with John Cleary, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, September 7, 2003)
- Yasin visited Jemaah Islamiah terrorist leader Abu Bakar Bashir in prison. (“Koranic TV next step for radial sheikh”, Sydney Morning Herald, August 20, 2005)
- Yasin has lectured with Hizb-ut-Tahrir hatemonger Omar Bakri Mohammed, who was banned from the UK in 2006.
- Yasin was in Saudi Arabia on 9/11 soliciting support from the Al-Qaeda front Al-Haramain Foundation, which was designated a terrorist organization in 2004 by the US government, to help finance his Islamic Broadcasting Company.
According to the ISGKC, making a 14 minute movie trailer, and anything else that provoke Muslim rage, should be banned despite the First Amendment protections because it incites Muslim violence. But endorsing the death penalty for gays and lesbians, as well as anyone else guilty of capital crimes under Islamic law, is a view embraced by the same group.
So far, the petition has 155 signers from Kansas City; Albany, NY; Orlando, FL, Annandale, VA; San Antonio, TX; Apex, NC; Broken Arrow, OK; Canton, MI; among many other locations.
New York Times hailed Libyan terror leader behind Benghazi consulate attack as “U.S. ally, of sorts”
Fox News is reporting that Abu Sufyan Bin Qumu, a former GITMO detainee and head of Ansar al-Shariah, may be responsible for leading the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last week that killed Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans.
(See Bryan Preston’s earlier report.)
It should be noted that in April 2011 when Obama war hawks were selling military action against Qaddafi in Libya, the New York Times published an article describing Bin Qumu as a “U.S. ally, of sorts”:
For more than five years, Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu was a prisoner at the Guantánamo Bay prison, judged “a probable member of Al Qaeda” by the analysts there. They concluded in a newly disclosed 2005 assessment that his release would represent a “medium to high risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies.”
Today, Mr. Qumu, 51, is a notable figure in the Libyan rebels’ fight to oust Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, reportedly a leader of a ragtag band of fighters known as the Darnah Brigade for his birthplace, this shabby port town of 100,000 people in northeast Libya. The former enemy and prisoner of the United States is now an ally of sorts, a remarkable turnabout resulting from shifting American policies rather than any obvious change in Mr. Qumu.
A potential diplomatic storm may be brewing prior to the arrival next week of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in New York City and the White House.
According to an unclassified daily brief circulated by the State Department Executive Secretariat this afternoon, Morsi ordered the Egyptian embassy in DC to take legal action against the U.S. citizens who are alleged to be behind the “Innocence of Muslims” video that has flamed tensions in the Middle East.
The State Department briefing states:
EGYPT ISSUES ARREST WARRANTS FOR INFLAMMATORY VIDEO
(U) Egypt’s general prosecutor issued arrest warrants and referred to trial seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and American pastor Terry Jones on charges linked to the inflammatory video, media report. The accused, all of whom are believed to be outside Egypt, could face the death penalty if convicted of harming national unity, insulting Islam, and spreading false information. DRL’s Office of International Religious Freedom comments President Morsy reportedly directed the Egyptian Embassy in Washington to take legal action in the United States against the individuals. The Egyptian government has been an ardent supporter of anti-defamation resolutions at the UN. (Ops/Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor’s Office of International Religious Freedom, AP)
Should President Obama be hosting President Morsi next week, when Mosi has directed his government to launch a legal attack on the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens?
One of the points of criticism is that the event is being led by extremist cleric Siraj Wahhaj, who was named by US Attorney Mary Jo White as “unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators” in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial, and appeared as a character witness for the mastermind of the plot, the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman (prosecuted by our PJ Media colleague, former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy).
Here is a video promoting this Friday’s event featuring Siraj Wahhaj:
Back in 2003, Wall Street Journal reporter Paul Barrett highlighted some of Wahhaj’s extremist statements, noting his advocacy of strict shariah law:
He has told his followers that a society governed by strict Islamic law, in which adulterers would be stoned to death and thieves would have their hands cut off, would be superior to American democracy. Speaking of unnamed forces in the government and media, he has preached, “These people want the destruction of Islam.”
Dr. Daniel Pipes also quotes Wahhaj in an article “The Danger Within: Militant Islam in America“, where Wahhaj has a perverse take on Martin Luther King Jr.s “I Have a Dream” speech:
I have a vision in America, Muslims owning property all over, Muslim businesses, factories, halal meat, supermarkets, all these buildings owned by Muslims. Can you see the vision, can you see the Newark International Airport and a John Kennedy Airport and La Guardia having Muslim fleets of planes, Muslim pilots. Can you see our trucks rolling down the highways, Muslim names. Can you imagine walking down the streets of Teaneck, [New Jersey]: three Muslim high schools, five Muslim junior-high schools, fifteen public schools. Can you see the vision, can you see young women walking down the street of Newark, New Jersey, with long flowing hijab and long dresses. Can you see the vision of an area . . . controlled by the Muslims?”
One other troubling element of the history DNC’s jumah prayer leader is that Wahhaj was the keynote speaker at a “Jihad Summer Camp” just two weeks before the 9/11 attacks. Here’s a flyer for the event:
The actual organizer for the DNC jumah prayer event on Friday, Jabril Hough, has also faced some criticism for his group’s advocacy of Islamic supremacist ideology and extremist views.
For example, earlier this week Charlotte TV station WSOC aired an interview with Hough where they covered some controversial topics, including Hough’s claims that American troops are actually the terrorists in Afghanistan:
Eyewitness News asked Hough about his views on several topics, including the war on terror.
“American troops are actually the insurgents. It’s not the people who live there. The people who live there are defending their country,” Hough said.
Hough does not consider himself to be a supremacist, but believes Muslims have not received the credit they deserve.
“This is a fact: Muslims have visited America prior to Columbus. It was a Muslim who guided Columbus on his voyage to the new world,” Hough said.
He insisted he is not a radical, and said his beliefs are shared by mainstream Muslims.
This is the face of American Islam that the DNC would like to portray as “moderates”. And they have the audacity to call others “Islamophobes”.
Rewind July 31st: Panetta says Egypt’s Morsi “is his own man”, Reality: Morsi’s cabinet and advisers overwhelmingly Islamist
Just a few weeks ago Defense Department Secretary Leon Panetta was in Cairo saying that Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, was “his own man” and that Morsi was committed to democratic reforms.
The crushing reality displayed in the weeks since Panetta’s praise of Morsi puts the lie to the Obama administration’s catastrophic foreign policy hinged on the Muslim Brotherhood’s supposed “moderation”.
Just two days after Panetta’s appearance with the Egyptian president, Morsi announced his cabinet that included three Islamists, including one appointed to the sensitive post of education minister. One of his Islamist allies was appointed the sole vice president, breaking Morsi’s promise prior to the election that he would appoint a Christian and a woman to vice president positions.
Leaders of the Christian community immediately denounced the appointments, with only a solitary Christian Copt to receiving one of the 35 ministry appointments to represent that minority community that comprises ten percent of the Egyptian population.
Then on August 12th, Morsi surprised the world (no doubt including Panetta and State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton) by unilaterally firing Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi and the head of the Egyptian armed forces (the only check on Morsi’s power), cancelling addenda to the provisional constitution that had limited the presidents power (and that he was elected under), and establishing new presidential powers, which were roundly denounced by Egyptian constitutional experts from all quarters as powers that rested solely with the parliament.
Then this past Saturday Morsi’s prime minister announced that the drafting of the new constitution would be completed by the end of September – even before a new parliament can be seated to help shape and define the new constitution. Members of the committee drafting the constitution have openly complained that the Muslim Brotherhood majority faction of the 100-member drafting committee were monopolizing the process and working to increase the role of Islamic law over the Egyptian people.
And then yesterday Morsi announced his new team of presidential assistants and advisers, with many of the positions going to Muslim Brotherhood members, the even-more hardline Islamist Al-Nour Party, and “independents” aligned with the Islamists.
So the overwhelming evidence shows that contrary to Panetta, Morsi is not his own man as seen in virtually every decision he has made since the Defense Secretary’s pronouncement in Cairo just a few weeks ago, showing that Panetta is either a liar or a fool. Or possibly both.
Much as it did with Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, no matter how much the political and media establishment wants to paint the Muslim Brotherhood and “moderate” and “democratic”, it will never make them so.
The UK-based News Sniffer is following a developing story at the New York Times. No, the story isn’t progressing, but the Times’ reporting of it.
The story in question is an article published in today’s Times by Steven Erlanger, “France Urges Syrian Opposition to Form New Government“. Since earlier today, the article has undergone at least eight different revisions.
Most notably was a mention in an earlier version that stated the CIA was funneling arms to the Syrian rebels:
The statement by the French president, François Hollande, represented the furthest any Western leader had gone in pressuring the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. While the United States, Britain and other Western countries have called on Mr. Assad to resign and have supported the opposition with nonlethal aid — and American intelligence agents have helped funnel arms to rebel groups — they have not explicitly stated they would recognize a provisional government formed by Mr. Assad’s array of political enemies.
But 35 minutes later any mention of funneling arms by the CIA had been removed and the statement reworked:
The statement by the French president, François Hollande, represented the furthest any Western leader had gone in pressuring the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. While the United States, Britain and other Western countries have called on Mr. Assad to resign and have supported the opposition with nonlethal aid — and American intelligence agents have helped to identify the rebel groups that receive arms — they have not explicitly stated they would recognize a provisional government formed by Mr. Assad’s array of political enemies.
And now it reads (at the time I published this, but no guarantee it won’t change again):
The statements by Mr. Hollande represented the most forceful attempt by the group of Western nations calling for Mr. Assad’s ouster to nudge Syria’s marginalized and often squabbling opposition groupings toward unity.
My, how the Times they are a-changin’.
Earlier today I wrote about the “green-on-blue” attack by an Afghan army soldier that killed two ISAF troops (their nationality not yet identified, but presumed to be American since it occurred in a largely American-patrolled area).
But contradicting accounts have now appeared courtesy of an Afghan army spokesman Noman Hatefi, who claims in this Associated Press article that the killing of the two ISAF troops was the result of an accidental discharge:
Then on Monday morning, two American soldiers were shot and killed by one of their Afghan colleagues in the east, military officials said, bringing to 12 the number of international troops — all Americans — to die at the hands of their local allies this month.
But Afghan officials said Monday’s attack in Laghman province was a separate case from the rash of recent insider attacks on international forces, because it appeared to have been an accidental shooting.
When the group of U.S. and Afghan soldiers came under attack, they returned fire and ran to take up fighting positions, said Noman Hatefi, a spokesman for the Afghan army corps in eastern Afghanistan. But an Afghan soldier fell and accidentally discharged his weapon, killing two American soldiers with the errant rounds, he said.
“He didn’t do this intentionally. But then the commander of the unit started shouting at him, `What did you do? You killed two NATO soldiers!’ And so he threw down his weapon and started to run,” Hatefi added. The U.S. troops had already called in air support to help with the insurgent attack and the aircraft fired on the escaping Afghan soldier from above, killing him, Hatefi said.
NATO spokesman Lt. Col. Hagen Messer of Germany confirmed that two international soldiers were killed by an Afghan soldier in Laghman province, but declined to give further comment.
But that contradicts an earlier ISAF statement reported by Reuters that said the killing was conducted by a “rogue Afghan soldier”:
A rogue Afghan soldier shot dead two U.S. troops in east Afghanistan on Monday, the NATO-led coalition said, the latest in a series of insider killings that have strained trust between the allies ahead of a 2014 pullout by foreign combat troops.
The deaths in Laghman province brought to 12 the number of foreign soldiers killed this month, prompting NATO to increase security against insider attacks, including requiring soldiers to carry loaded weapons at all times on base.
They also come a week after U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Martin Dempsey visited Kabul to talk about rogue shootings and urge Afghan officials to take tougher preventative action.
“ISAF troops returned fire, killing the ANA (Afghan National Army) soldier who committed the attack,” the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said in a statement.
The Associated Press report quoting the Afghan army spokesman was entitled “Killing of 2 US soldiers by Afghan soldier appears to be accidental, officials say”, but his account is patently laughable.
I will note that if ISAF had published the statement quoted by Reuters appeared on the ISAF website, it’s now gone (although two other unrelated statements from today still appear).
The killings were either done by a “rogue Afghan soldier” (the more plausible option) or is an accidental shooting. Both accounts confirm that the perpetrator was killed, with ISAF saying that he was killed by troops returning fire, while the Afghan spokesman said he was killed by an airstrike. But both can’t be right.
My money is on that the Afghan spokesman is lying. Has Baghdad Bob reinvented himself as Kabul Khalid? If so, he appears to be on our side this time.
You might think that some enterprising establishment media reporter would ask Gen. Allen about the discrepancy, but don’t hold your breath. The Pentagon wants these stories to go away.
The Associated Press is reporting today that another “green-on-blue” attack by our Afghan “allies” has killed two more soldiers:
An Afghan soldier turned his weapon on international allies in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing two soldiers, the NATO military coalition said.
The killings were the latest in a surge of insider attacks by Afghan forces against international troops, with 12 killed by their supposed allies this month alone. The first 10 were identified as Americans.
The morning attack happened in the eastern Laghman province, said Lt. Col. Hagen Messer of Germany, a spokesman for the alliance. NATO later said in a statement that international troops returned fire and killed the attacker. Afghan officials are investigating the shooting. The majority of troops operating in the Laghman area are American.
The soldiers were travelling in a convoy through Alingar district along with Afghan troops when one of the vehicles struck a roadside bomb, said Noor Rahman, a spokesman for the Laghman police. When the troops dismounted their vehicles, a dispute broke out and one of the Afghans fired on his coalition allies. The NATO forces then called for air support, and helicopters fired on the Afghan soldiers, Rahman said.
The commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John R. Allen, wrote in an oped published in the Washington Post on Friday that the U.S. should not be “derailed” by such attacks from amongst our Afghan “allies”.
That followed his comments earlier last week where he blamed the fasting associated with the month-long Islamic celebration of Ramadan and the heat in Afghanistan for the surge in such attacks this month (video).
An assessment by Bill Roggio at the Long War Journal on Aug. 17th stated that 13% of all ISAF deaths in 2012 can be attributed to green-on-blue attacks:
Green-on-blue attacks have spiked since the beginning of 2011, with nearly 75 percent occurring since the start of last year. Of the 101 ISAF soldiers believed to have been killed by Afghan security personnel since May 2007, a total of 39, or nearly 40 percent, were killed this year. Last year, 35 ISAF soldiers were killed in green-on-blue attacks. These attacks have taken place in all areas in Afghanistan, not just in the south and east.
So far this year, green-on-blue attacks have caused 13 percent of the ISAF deaths; 299 Coalition soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan this year, according to iCasualties.org.
Roggio adds that these deaths are part of an escalating trend that has spiked in August:
Over the past 11 days, there have been seven green-on-blue attacks against ISAF troops, counting today’s attack. In the preceding five attacks, seven US soldiers have been killed. On Aug. 7, two Afghan soldiers killed a US soldier in the east before defecting to the Taliban. On Aug. 9, US troops killed an Afghan soldier who was attempting to gun them down at a training center in Laghman province. On Aug. 10, six US soldiers were killed in two separate attacks in Garmsir and Sangin districts in Helmand province. And on Aug. 13, a policeman wounded two US soldiersin Nangarhar.
While Gen. Allen may not want us to get “derailed” by observing the escalation of attacks against our own soldiers and Marines and the mounting body count from such attacks, perhaps it’s time for our elected officials to ask some hard questions of our military leadership and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about what their plans are for addressing the senseless murder of our troops as more than 1 in every 10 deaths of our soldiers are now being killed by our supposed Afghan “allies”.
And with the RNC Convention taking place this week, it would be appropriate if GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would tell the country what exactly he would do in Afghanistan as Commander-in-Chief should he be elected in November beyond continuing the failed policies of the Obama administration.
RNC platform celebrates overthrow of U.S. allies, collapse of Middle East and takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood
One of the most startling elements of the leaked platform (obtained by Politico) considered by the Republican National Convention this week reflects the received wisdom of John McCain/Lindsey Graham foreign policy wing of the GOP that believes the so-called “Arab Spring” to be a good thing for American interests in the region and the collapse of the Middle East into the arms of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood (McCain was against the Brotherhood before he was for it).
This is best expressed in the “American Exceptionalism” section of the platform, under the topic “The Challenges of the Changing Middle East” (page 14 of the Politico print out), where it states:
We recognize the historic nature of the events of the past two years – the Arab Spring – that have unleashed democratic movements leading to the overthrow of dictators who have been menaces to global security for decades. In a season of upheaval, it is necessary to be prepared for anything. That is true on the ground in the Middle East, and it will be equally true in the next Administration, particularly with a new President unbound by the failures of the past. We welcome the aspirations of the Arab peoples and others for greater freedom, and we hope that greater liberty – and with it, a greater chance for peace – will result from the recent turmoil. Many governments in the region have given substantial assistance to the U.S. over the last decade because they understood that our struggle against terror is not an ethnic or religious fight, and the violent extremists are abusers of their faith, not its champions.
There are a couple of things to take note of here.
First is statement that the “Arab Spring” has “unleashed democratic movements leading to the overthrow of dictators who have been menaces to global security for decades” (HT: Marc Lynch).
It’s unclear exactly who the RNC is talking about. Might that be our long-time U.S. ally in Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, who despite his brutal grasp and dictatorial powers was a committed partner to keeping Egypt’s end of the Camp David Accords that maintained the peace with Israel? And then was replaced by Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi that has embraced Hamas in Gaza and called for the US to release the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, as he crushes dissent to his consolidation of power? We also see in recent days the ill omen of an increased militarization of the Sinai, with Egyptian tanks moving towards the border with Israel and the movement of terrorists groups out of Gaza through Egypt to attack Israel.
Or does the RNC platform committee mean Tunisia, where another Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government has replaced dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. While Ben Ali abused the freedom of the press, he also established one of the most Western-friendly Arab states, complete with legalized abortion and prostitution.
But under the new government led by the Muslim Brotherhood Ennahda Party, even Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki openly complained on Friday about the rapid consolidation of power by the Islamists in administrative and political institutions.
Meanwhile, women in Tunisia are protesting the rollback of women’s rights under the new government, and the media is protesting increased abuses, such as the arrest of a blogger for drinking during Ramadan and the arrest warrant issued by the government last week for the head of a TV station for a satire piece that aired recently, and journalists protested last Wednesday about the tightening press restrictions on Tunisian media. Sounds like things are even worse than they were under former dictator Ben Ali.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney just a few weeks ago told an Israeli paper that the “Arab Spring” didn’t have to happen in Egypt and Tunisia if Obama had not derailed Bush’s “freedom agenda”, saying:
President [George W.] Bush urged [deposed Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak to move toward a more democratic posture, but President Obama abandoned the freedom agenda and we are seeing today a whirlwind of tumult in the Middle East in part because these nations did not embrace the reforms that could have changed the course of their history, in a more peaceful manner
Apparently, the RNC platform committee didn’t get Romney’s memo.
I suspect what they really had in mind is the overthrow and death of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi last year.
Undeniably, Gaddafi had given shelter to international terrorists and pursued a program to obtain weapons of mass destruction. He had also killed Americans in the Berlin disco bombing and the downing of Pan Am 103. But following the 9/11 attacks, Gaddafi had entered into an agreement with the U.S. to dismantle his WMD program and for actively cooperated with U.S anti-terrorism efforts.
[N.B. - John McCain pushed for military aid for Gaddafi just two years before he was congratulating Obama on Gaddafi's death, in fact saying we should have involved more military effort to aid Islamist rebels in Gaddafi's overthrow.]
Yes, Gaddafi had everything coming that he received, but what has replaced him is far short of the “Arab Spring” and democratic movement celebrated by the RNC platform.
Just last month the departing National Transitional Council said that any new constitution should be subordinated to Islamic law – and that the imposition of sharia in Libya should not be subject to a popular referendum (how’s that for democratic?). Such positions have emboldened Islamist forces, who this weekend bulldozed a historic mausoleum in Tripoli with a government unwilling or unable to stop them.
And who is leading these “democratic movements” celebrated by the RNC? One prominent figure is Abdelhakim Belhadj, a longtime leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (which is still listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization), who recently left his military post to take up politics. Belhadj, who was captured by the CIA in 2004 in Thailand and renditioned back to Libya, has started his own political party. So an Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist commander could play a leading role in Libya’s political future. And we overthrew Gaddafi (as much as he deserved it) for this? Meanwhile, Libyan arms are now fueling Islamist insurgents and terrorist groups across Africa.
But not content with the current catastrophe of the “Arab Spring”, the RNC Platform Committee would like to see this foreign policy failure extended to Syria, as they state:
We support the transition to a post-Assad Syrian government that is representative of its people, protects the rights of all minorities and religions, respects the territorial integrity of its neighbors, and contributes to peace and stability in the region.
That sentiment is admirable, but in reality it is pure fantasy.
A post-Assad government would undoubtedly be dominated by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, which controls the rebel Syrian National Council (as I reported several weeks ago, is led by one of the Pentagon’s former top Islamic advisers) and has historically been one of the most violent Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in the world. Such a government might be an elected one, but it’s unlikely to protect the rights of all minorities and religions, respect the territorial integrity of its neighbors, or contribute to peace and stability in the region.
In fact, as reported by the Daily Beast on Friday, the Syrian rebels are already talking about installing a sharia-governed Islamic state while they already targeting Alawites, Christians and Shia. The instability of Syria has already prompted concerns by Russia of increase of Islamic extremism within its own borders, such as the terror attacks just 500 miles from Moscow reported on yesterday by the New York Times . Those concerns and the prospect of a hardline Sunni state on its borders presumably will draw Russia deeper into the Syrian conflict, destabilizing the region even further.
There are other troubling elements of this section of the RNC platform, such as the promotion of the Obama administration’s non-sensical “violent extremism” narrative. I’ll leave that for others to comment on.
Reading the rest of the “American Exceptionalism” there is much to commend. However, in light of the present situation in the Middle East and perhaps one of the greatest foreign policy disasters in America history, the RNC’s approach to the “Arab Spring” seems to be not just a continuation of the Obama administration’s perpetual blundering and appeasement and the GOP McCain/Graham wing’s two-faced, schizophrenic “he loves me/he loves me not” policy, but an escalation of the insanity.
No doubt my detractors will paint my criticism as some kind of love fest for Middle East dictatorships, but in point in fact, up until now that’s all we’ve ever had to deal with. There is no democratic and human rights tradition in the Middle East (save the exception of Israel – the one outpost of Western-style democracy the rest of the region wants to see destroyed), and the “democratic movements” we have supported have required the abandonment of our allies in the region. In their place we have supported the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, which openly states its objective to create Islamic states governed by authoritarian Islamic law, the reestablishment of a global Islamic caliphate, and pushing Western interests out of the region entirely.
Yes, the situation is complicated and the actors we have to work with range from very bad to even worse, but the experience of the US with Iran in 1979 warns against doubling-down on the failures of the Obama administration.
And as we see Iraq swing further into Iran’s orbit, and the complete collapse of our efforts in Afghanistan (in both cases, countries subordinated to Islamic law, not due to Al-Qaeda, but due to constitutions written by the US State Department during the Bush administration’s “freedom agenda” hailed by Romney), the US cannot continue to chase the mirage of the “Arab Spring” as envisioned by McCain/Graham and pursuing the utterly insane policy of aiding and abetting our sworn enemies in the rest of the takeover of the Middle East to the short and long-term detriment to our national interests.
In their approach to the Middle East, let’s hope that someone in the Romney/Ryan camp has better wisdom than the RNC platform committee. Or at least reads a newspaper.
One of the lead articles linked on the Drudge Report today is a story by Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon on a recent statement by top Saudi cleric Salman al-Odeh declaring the Holocaust was “exaggerated” and that Jews make their Passover matzos with the blood of Christian children:
But before we begin wagging our fingers at such outrageous stone-age beliefs it bears worth mentioning that the same blood libel views have been preached by top US Islamic clerics as well.
For example, take this appearance by Fiqh Council of North American member Salah Sultan in March 2010 saying the exact same thing:
HT: Both videos were translated by the indispensable MEMRITV.
Tony Blair’s Muslim convert sister-in-law preaches Jew hatred, anti-Americanism in California mosque (video)
Tom Trento and the United West crew have another startling video report on the appearance of Lauren Booth, Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, speaking at the Ar-Rahman mosque in Fontana, California last month (co-sponsored by the Muslim Legal Fund of America) where this so-called “peace activist” goes on a tirade about Jews, Israel and America, going so far as to call President Obama a murderer:
One of the most startling things about the video is the duplicity of giving one message to the non-Muslims, and then the torrent of hate unleashed when she thinks she is speaking to a strictly Muslim audience.
Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon had a blockbuster story earlier this week that deserved much more attention than what it got.
Back in February, Kredo reported on the case of Houston-based oil magnate Kase Lawal, a top Obama bundler and campaign contributor that had been appointed to the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations. But then Lawal scandal erupted when he got caught in an illegal gold deal with a Congolese warlord wanted by the war crimes tribunal in the Hague. After the scandal erupted, Lawal’s name was quietly removed from the White House Advisory Committee’s website.
A small Texas company that had leased an airplane to Lawal was unaware of Lawal’s scheme. Their plane was confiscated by the Congolese authorities, who had been tipped off. Now the company is suing Lawal and his brothers for their lost $40 million Gulfstream V jet.
Which brings us to Kredo’s story this week. In a deposition in that civil lawsuit, Obama’s trade adviser plead the Fifth more than a hundred times during his testimony:
A former Obama administration trade adviser accused of plotting to purchase $10 million in gold from a Congolese warlord refused to detail his role in the illegal plot, invoking the Fifth Amendment more than 100 times during confidential court testimony, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
President Obama tapped oil mogul Kase Lawal, a prolific Democratic bundler and Clinton family confidante, to serve as a member of the White House’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations in 2010. Lawal’s name no longer appears on the website.
Soon after his appointment, court documents allege, Lawal became entangled in a plot to purchase nearly 2,500 pounds of Congolese gold from Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, a rebel commander who has been linked by the International Criminal Court to ethnic massacres and rapes. [...]
Lawal exploited his close ties to the White House to convince those around him that the gold deal was a legal transaction despite the warlord’s involvement, depositions reveal.
Testimony offered by Lawal’s key point man, Carlos St. Mary, indicates that Lawal sunk millions of CAMAC’s money into a deal rife with fraud and deceit. Lawal’s alleged actions would have violated a U.N. ban on doing business with rogue Congolese warlords.
David Disiere, owner of Southlake Aviation, the Texas-based firm that leased CAMAC International a Gulfstream jet later seized by authorities, told the Free Beacon that Lawal presented himself as a legitimate businessman, and touted his close ties to the Obama administration.
“You’ve got a man on this international economic advisory council appointed by President Obama,” said Disiere, owner of the $40 million dollar luxury Gulfstream V jet seized during the incident. “I just expected more.”
“You’ve got a man on this international economic advisory council appointed by President Obama. I just expected more”.
There’s your problem right there.
Yesterday I noted that a press conference held by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) in front of RNC headquarters to attack Michele Bachmann and demand that Mitt Romney denounce his GOP colleague was a bust when the media failed to show. MPAC then “cancelled” the press conference after the fact.
One of the few media interviews MPAC gave at the “cancelled” press conference was an interview by MPAC-DC director (and regular White House guest — even when they won’t admit it) Haris Tarin, where he hinted at Bachmann’s ties to this weekend’s shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
But Michele Bachmann is not MPAC’s first scapegoat for violence.
As the LA Times reported back in September 2001, on the day of the 9/11 attacks longtime MPAC president Salam al-Marayati went on a local radio program and blamed Israelis for the attacks:
Al-Marayati was interviewed the day of the terrorist attacks, by Warren Olney on KCRW-FM’s “Which Way, LA?” According to a transcript provided by the Anti-Defamation League, an organization created to defend Jews against anti-Semitism, Olney asked: “Are you worried about another spate of anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States?”
Al-Marayati replied: “Yes, we’re warning about generalizations that will only aid the criminals who perpetrated this deplorable act and really hurt innocent people. . . . ”
The discussion then turned to suspects. According to the transcript, Al-Marayati said, “If we’re going to look at suspects, we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies. Why not put all the suspects on the list, instead of going ahead and shooting from the hip and saying those people did it and bombing the cornfields of Afghanistan and pharmaceutical factories of Sudan. . . .”
David A. Lehrer, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said he will not join any dialogue involving Al-Marayati.
Must be nice to always have a ready-made scapegoat for every act of violence (and SHOCK!! they always seem to be MPAC’s perceived “enemies”).
The hypocrisy is, of course, that when Muslims are involved in terror plots we’re always told by groups like MPAC that we’re not allowed to hold anyone else in the Muslim community accountable for their role in radicalizing would-be jihadists. But a shooting at a Sikh temple? Michele Bachmann is to blame. 9/11 attacks? The Jews are responsible.
UPDATE: Twitchy points us to the Twitter storm on the left attacking Bachmann for made up quotes attributed to her by The Onion (a parody publication).
It’s a sad day for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
On Friday they announced that they would be holding a press conference in front of the Republican National Committee headquarters on Capitol Hill demanding that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney denounce fellow-GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann.
MPAC, the Muslim Public Affairs Council announced a press conference for today at 9am in front of the RNC. The press conference was to “Call on Romney to Denounce Bachmann’s Witch Hunt.” MPAC is a Southern California-based Muslim lobbying group now closely aligned with the Obama White House.
Haris Tarin, the director of the Washington office, recently chastised Rep. Michelle Bachmann for asking national security questions about the role of certain Muslim American Organizations and individuals in high ranking governmental positions. Representative Bachmann sits on the House Intelligence Committee.
The press release, originally dated August 3, 2012, was updated this morning to announce the press conference’s cancellation. MPAC also updated their Facebook page, announcing the cancellation.
However, MPAC did have a press conference this morning in front of the RNC. Turn-out was underwhelming, to say the least. Breitbart News has exclusive photos of MPAC’s press conference that, indeed, was held in front of the RNC at 9am this morning.
Be sure to check out Breitbart’s pics and videos of MPAC’s “cancelled” press conference. I was on the Hill at 9am this morning, and despite MPAC’s claims of cancelling because of the weather (at best it was an intermittent sprinkle that was over by the time of their event), they really had to cancel because no one really gave a s*%t.
But don’t worry: when they are able to reschedule their “cancelled” press conference and remind their media dhimmies of their submission expect it to get wall-to-wall coverage by MSNBC, CNN, HuffPo and Think Progress.
UPDATE: The Blaze has an interview with MPAC DC director Haris Tarin where he indirectly blames Michele Bachmann for yesterday’s Sikh temple shooting at the “cancelled” press conference.
A stunning exchange took place today when Assistant AG Tom Perez of the DOJ Civil Rights Division refused to commit to the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution that it would never advance a law criminalizing the right to criticize any religion.
The non-commital answer by Perez was in response to a question asked by Rep. Trent Frank (R-AZ): “Will you tell us here today that this Administration’s Department of Justice will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?”
Here’s the exchange:
As Neil Munro at the Daily Caller reported back in October, Perez met with leaders from Islamic organizations who were demanding that DOJ categorize criticism of Islam as discrimination under federal statutes.
According to that Daily Caller report:
During his speech, Perez applauded the Islamist lobbyists for persuading government officials to end extra security checks on airline passengers from Nigeria and 12 Islamic countries. The checks were adopted in 2010 after a Nigerian Muslim tried to blow up a passenger aircraft on Christmas Day.
“What did we hear in the aftermath of that? We heard a lot of feedback from people in this room and from leaders across the country that we could be doing a better job [by ending the checks]… and a few month later, and thanks to you, we did just that,” Perez told the Islamist advocates.
But any member of Congress demanding answers about the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood is CRAZY!!!
One of the immediate consequences of Hillary Clinton’s apology to Pakistan earlier this month for a Afghanistan/Pakistan border incident (in which Pakistani troops fired on coalition forces, prompting a deadly retalitory response) is that it has re-opened the U.S. taxpayer spigot for Pakistan.
The Pakistani Express Tribune reported late last week:
Now that ties between Pakistan and US are fast thawing, Islamabad has sent the first Coalition Support Fund (CSF) bills to Washington since the US Navy SEALs raid to hunt down Osama bin Laden in May last year.
The Joint Staff headquarters has sent fresh CSF claims to Pentagon, a senior official from the finance ministry told The Express Tribune. Neither the ministry nor the US Embassy in Pakistan disclosed the exact amount of the claims, but it is said to be between $500 and $600 million.
During the earlier stalemate, both the military and civilian leadership had maintained national pride and sovereignty were more important than financial gains. Pakistan had decided not to send any receipts for expenditures incurred from the May 1, 2011 US raid which killed Osama Bin Laden to the air strike that claimed the lives of over 24 Pakistani soldiers at the Salala check post on November 24.
However, the first bill sent to Pentagon since the raid in Abbottabad on May 1 last year is, interestingly, for expenditures incurred during the same period.
The report also notes:
Replying to another question, Stroh said Obama’s administration had notified the Congress regarding reimbursement of existing claims worth $1.1 billion. According to standard procedure, the Congress has 15 days from the day of the notification to object to the claims. If no objections are raised, the administration is allowed to complete the transaction.
Now remember that Pakistan sheltered Osama bin Laden for at least several years, and evidence indicates that he was in “routine contact” with the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency based on evidence gathered during the bin Laden raid.
Also remember that the Pakistani doctor that aided the CIA in tracking down bin Laden’s location was given a 33 year prison sentence.
And last September, Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen testified before Congress that Pakistan was “exporting violence” to Afghanistan by funding the anti-coalition forces Haqqani network:
Appearing on Capitol Hill today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen maintained their hard-line stance that Pakistan has to do more to rein in the Haqqani Network that uses safe havens on the Pakistani side of the border to launch attacks against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Mullen even went so far as to say that Pakistan is “exporting violence” and that Pakistan’s intelligence agency provided the Haqqanis with support for their recent terror attacks in Kabul.
Mullen went further than defense officials who’ve said that the Haqqani Network was responsible for the recent terror attacks in Kabul prior to former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani’s assassination, although the bomber’s affiliation has yet to be determined.
The Haqqanis are “veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency [ISI],” he said in opening remarks before the Senate Armed Services Committee, adding that it had provided the Haqqanis with support to conduct the Kabul attacks[...]
Mullen said Pakistan’s government has chosen to “use violent extremism as an instrument of policy,” which jeopardizes its relationship with the United States and its role as a player in the region.
Speaking of its support for the Haqqani Network, Mullen said, “they may believe that by using these proxies they are hedging their bets, or redressing what they feel is an imbalance of regional power. But, in reality, they have already lost that bet.”
He added that by “exporting violence, they have eroded their internal security and their position in the region. They have undermined their international credibility and threatened their economic well-being.”
According to Adm. Muller, our partners in the War on Terror are actually net exporters of terror. Perhaps the most notorious example is the critical support role that the Pakistani ISI played in the November 2008 swarm attack on Mumbai by the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group. And the jihadist ideology that inspires Islamic terrorism is a matter of official policy and indoctrination in Pakistan’s army.
So courtesy of the Obama State Department, led by Hillary Clinton, U.S. taxpayers are back to paying for Pakistan’s exporting of terror.
Hey America, how’s that “smart power diplomacy” working out for you?
The current issue of ISNA’s bi-monthly magazine Islamic Horizons carries an article about ISNA’s demand for gun control.
Specifically, the article, with the unambiguous title “ISNA Seeks Gun Control,” cites the shooting of Trayvon Martin to explain their opposition to S. 2188, the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012,” and S. 2213, the “Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012.”
An April 13th action alert on ISNA’s website directs their supporters to contact Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to have him stop the legislation from becoming law.
The same action alert states that ISNA is part of the Brady Center’s “Faiths United to Oppose Gun Violence,” and the Islamic group signed onto the Brady Center’s “Faith” group letter to Reid demanding he block the legislation.
This is not the first time that ISNA and the Brady Center have united to oppose the Second Amendment.
As noted by The Truth About Guns in February 2011, ISNA was one of the original founding groups of the “Faiths United to Oppose Gun Violence” when it was rolled out by the Brady Center.
Nor is the Second Amendment the only constitutional freedom under assault by ISNA and its leaders.
From Judicial Watch:
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01183) against the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seeking access to records detailing a February 2012 meeting between FBI Director Robert Mueller and Muslim organizations. Judicial Watch is also investigating the FBI’s subsequent controversial decision to purge the agency’s training curricula of material deemed “offensive” to Muslims.
On March 7, 2012, Judicial Watch submitted FOIA requests to the FBI and the DOJ seeking access to records concerning or relating to a February 8, 2012, meeting between FBI Director Robert Mueller and various Islamic organizations.
Judicial Watch seeks “any and all records setting criteria or guidelines for FBI curricula on Islam or records identifying potentially offensive material within the FBI curricula on Islam,” as well as any directives to withdraw FBI presentations and curricula on Islam. Judicial Watch also seeks records of communications between the Office of the Attorney General and several entities, including the Obama White House, the Executive Office of the President, and Muslim organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Council for American-Islamic Relations regarding the FBI’s curricula on Islam.
The FBI acknowledged receipt of Judicial Watch’s FOIA request on March 20, 2012, and was required to respond by May 1, 2012. The DOJ acknowledged receiving Judicial Watch’s FOIA request on March 14, 2012, and was required to respond by April 11, 2012. To date, neither agency has responded to Judicial Watch’s request in accordance with FOIA law.
FBI Director Robert Mueller reportedly met secretly on February 8, 2012, at FBI headquarters with a coalition of Islamist organizations, some with radical ties to terrorist organizations. For example, per The Washington Examiner, one group that reportedly met with Mueller – the Islamic Society of North America – “was tied to the terror groups Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in federal court documents.” The government named the Islamic Society of North America as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorist financing lawsuit, along with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the North American Islamic Trust.
During the February 8 meeting, Mueller reportedly assured the Islamic groups in attendance that the agency had ordered the removal of presentations and curricula on Islam from FBI offices around the country that were deemed “offensive.” As reported by NPR, overall, “The FBI has completed a review of offensive training material and has purged 876 pages and 392 presentations, according to a briefing provided to lawmakers.”
The material purge was reportedly initiated in response to a letter of complaint sent by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). However, other members of Congress, including Rep. Allen West (R-FL), object to allowing radical Muslim organizations the opportunity to dictate U.S. counterterrorism policy and want the material to be reinserted into the documents: “Now you have an environment of political correctness which precludes these agents from doing their proper job and due diligence to go after the perceived threat,” Congressman West said.
“There is no question that the country is less safe when we allow radical Muslim organizations to tell the FBI how to train its agents and do its job,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FBI’s purge of so called offensive material is political correctness run amok and it puts the nation at risk. The Obama administration owes the American people a full accounting of how and why his terrible decision was made.”